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Ridge resident's perspective shared
In the Oct. 7 issue of the Snoqualmie Valley Record, Mr.
Art Skolnik wrote a letter to the editor challenging the wisdom of putting
the Community Center on the Ridge. He suggested two options that would
"put the Community Center in a more central location for the growing
population of the Upper Valley." The first option involved the existing
North Bend Community Center; and the second, the Christmas Tree Farm,
"adjacent to the new play fields being acquired by Snoqualmie."
Page A40 of the May 1998/1999 Snoqualmie Valley phonebook has
a wonderful map called "our hometown" which I believe
strongly supports Mr. Skolnik's conclusions. There is only one
problem: Snoqualmie Ridge does not exist on this map.
As of October 1999, 167 new Ridge homes are occupied by
roughly 418 new residents. In other words, 22 percent of the city's current
population lives on the Ridge. Therefore, it may be important to note that the
geographic center of the city of Snoqualmie is radically shifting. In
a few years, 80 percent of Snoqualmie's population will reside on the Ridge.
If not for the projected 5,125 new residents on the Ridge, plans for
a Community Center would not exist. Nor would plans for the newly
"acquired" ball fields at the Tree Farm.
(WRECO allegedly could not find 15 suitable acres 1.1 percent of
1,345 Ridge acres on which to build them. Consequently, they will now be
"centrally" located, four miles from the Ridge and 2.5 miles from
downtown North Bend.)
Weyerhaeuser did not generously give away the above assets
(along with: a new sewer treatment plant, water supply, parkway, extensive
parks and trails, flood study costs, police station and future fire station [located
per Municipal Code], etc., etc.) out of the goodness of their heart. They are
a profit-making company. These costs were passed onto the
new homeowners on the Ridge. In other words, the Ridge homeowners
absorbed the costs for the vast majority of these new assets. At the very
least, the Ridge residents should be allowed a say in how they are distributed.
Especially when redistributed after the purchase of their homes.
The costs of the above assets made the houses on the Ridge
unaffordable to many existing residents.
Therefore, the Ridge residents will also absorb disproportionate costs for a
50-unit, low-income, sweat-equity (Habitat for Humanity-type) project in parcel
Y1 on the Ridge. On August 9, 1999, WRECO and the City of
Snoqualmie renegotiated portions of the low-income housing plan and added
50 houses to the existing 2,000 on the Ridge (thus my projected
population of 5,125).
For the last decade the Ridge has been inextricably linked
with WRECO, builders, and King County. It is important to note
that Weyerhaeuser is slowly moving off the Ridge and your new neighbors
are moving in. We are not the enemy. We love this town and very much wish
to be a part of it. Please include us when you discuss the needs and welfare
of the "community as a whole."